A Taste of Rockford to be nine times bigger than last year

Grand finale of ArtCapsule this Saturday—all over town 

This group of artists includes nearly all of the 29 who jumped on board the ArtCapsule contest’s first year.

For those who enjoyed generous and delicious samples of Rockford restaurants last year, prepare to multiply your experience by nine. A Taste of Rockford will now take place inside or in front of nine local eateries rather than in one location. A Taste of Rockford, live music and, of course, impressive art by nearly 30 artists will all be available on Saturday, August 6 in the grand finale of the second annual ArtCapsule by the Rockford Area Arts Commission (RAAC).

RAAC’s answer to its mission statement of promoting art in Rockford will be everywhere in downtown Rockford this week via ArtCapsule 2011.

This is the second year of the event and it has grown in both entries and venues. There are 30 artists featured in 22 venues with plenty of talent showcased in the three categories of 3-D, 2-D and photography. During the week, visitors may pick up ballots at any participating venue, check out the artwork and vote for their five favorite entries. During the week, ballot boxes will be at Frame and Mat Shop, Great Northern Trading Company, and A Charmed Life… Nail Salon and more ballot boxes will appear throughout the downtown area on Saturday.

Add “A Taste of Rockford”—Rockford’s eateries offering samples of their fare for $1 tickets on Saturday, and you have a wonderful exclamation point on a great week of celebrating the best Rockford has to offer. The proceeds from A Taste of Rockford will be going to RAAC this year, so the commission is grateful to the restaurants taking part in this crowd favorite. Participating restaurants are preparing samples that will cost from between one and three tickets, so visitors are assured a taste of participating restaurants’ offerings for a fantastic price. Last year restaurants gathered at one location, while this year the samples will be located at the participating restaurant’s front door. For easier access, visitors may purchase tickets at tables strategically placed throughout town on Saturday, with the main location at the Welcome Center, located on Squires Street.

“We’re looking forward to a great week’s worth of art that will culminate with a tasty ArtCapsule on Saturday, August 6 with music in the park, artwork in shops and restaurants, great food to sample, and a city full of people out to enjoy Rockford and its arts community,” RAAC President Jeff Lewis said. “Every year the caliber of the artwork gets better. We are hoping the community will join us this Saturday to support local arts programs and the Rockford Area Arts Commission.”

RAAC has worked hard to add music to the event this year with live music taking the stage at Garden Club Park throughout the day on Saturday.

“It’s wonderful that Rockford supports its arts community through ArtCapsule and A Taste of Rockford. We’re grateful to the patrons, the City, Heart of Rockford and especially the volunteers that have made this yearly event possible,” Lewis said.

Artists include Lila Harmon at A Charmed Life… Nail Salon; Kellie Bennor at J.T. Stitchery; Lois Carpenter, Connie Kuhnle and Sandra Hanert at the Frame and Mat Shop; Dan DeWard, Tom Scott and Taylor Bishop at Studio D2D; Paul Willis and Michael Bieri at Herman’s Boy; Kathryn Laffrey and Linda Bassford at Great Northern Trading Company; Mike Callihan at Epic Coffee; Ray Kenyon and Michelle Jennings at Eric Brown Stained Glass; GeneAnn Schaefer at Sage & Roses; Jane VanBemden at Maghielse & Co.; Ruth J. Koster and Nancy Wanha at Kimberly’s Boutique; Georgia Donovan at Aunt Candy’s Toy Co.; Leta Holloway at Grill One Eleven; Michelle Pittman at Rudy Kazoody’s; Stacy Niedzwiecki at Marinades; Michael Grace at the Corner Bar; Chas Appleby at the Edge; Patti Mollema at Right at Home; Colleen Berry at Open Mind; Mariah Prowoznik at Vitale’s; and Lisa Rush at Reds on the River.

A Taste of Rockford venues include the Corner Bar, Herman’s Boy, Marinades, Grill One Eleven, Grand Cakes, Epic Coffee House, Sweet Tooth, Twisted Vine, Custard by the Dam, Dam Dogs, and Poindexter’s Specialty Marketplace.

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.